Bayer pledges $500K in drugs and cash relief to Maui following devastating wildfires

In the aftermath of devastating wildfires on Maui, Bayer is standing up as one of the first pharmaceutical companies to offer relief.

The German conglomerate is providing a cash donation of $250,000 to the island, plus a donation of essential healthcare products also worth $250,000. Bayer has operated in Maui for more than half a century, the company said in a Wednesday release.

The company said it “stands in solidarity with those impacted and offers heartfelt condolences for the losses endured.”

The fire in Lahaina, Hawaii, is now the deadliest in more than a century, according to the U.S. Fire Administration and CNN. To date, some 2,200 structures have been destroyed or damaged, 86% of which are residential, the state’s governor, Josh Green, has said. The death toll was 110 as of Wednesday.

Of Bayer’s cash donation, $150,000 will go to the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Maui Strong program, which is helping coordinate resources for recovery efforts. Another $50,000 is going to the Maui Food Bank, while Bayer also plans to provide $50,000 in the future as needs emerge.

Its donation of medical supplies will go to Direct Relief, which is working in conjunction with Hawaiian healthcare partners to deliver immediate medical aid to those in need.

Bayer’s donation comprises items such as Aspirin, Aleve, Claritin, plus an unnamed antibiotic.

Bayer notes that its employees in Hawaii on Maui, Molokai and Oahu have also donated more than 3,000 pounds of essential supplies, including food, water and more. The pharma giant is also matching employee contributions through its Bayer Fund program.

Pharmaceutical companies have repeatedly stepped up in recent years amid a spate of natural disasters and manmade conflicts.

Earlier this year, following a devastating earthquake on the border of Turkey and Syria, drugmakers near and far chipped in with cash donations and essential medicine pledges.

And in 2022, scores of drugmakers rallied around Ukraine following the country’s invasion by Russia.

Those efforts saw companies like Roche donate 150,00 packages of the antibiotic Rocephin to Ukraine, while others, such as Sanofi, put up sums in the millions of euros.

Editor's note: Is your company doing something to help with relief efforts in Hawaii? Email Fraiser Kansteiner at [email protected] to have your company's efforts reflected in this story.